During my spring semester I was assigned a paper (the topic was of my choice within a certain range of time) that inspired me. The assignment was to choose a historical topic that was within the range of the 1500’s to present. It was such a broad range of time that I really had no idea where to even start. The subject could be about religion, philosophy, art, culture, people, pretty much anything that happened during that time.
How I came across my topic I cannot remember or say for certain. But I stumbled across a book by Jack Weatherford, The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, and read a little about one of those women in particular. She struck me as intriguing so I got the book and got to work.
Most history books I have read for school projects have been dry and hard to keep reading. They aren’t made to be entertaining as much as informative. Jack Weatherford got his right though. The book gave good insight into the land that the Mongols lived in, the challenges they faced, the culture they lived in, and the people who stood out as important. It was entertaining and insightful. I pulled so much information about the woman I chose for my topic that my 4-7 page paper turned into a 14 page paper and I had to trim down.
When I handed my paper to one of the writing specialists to look over and help me cut down and improve it I had to leave it with her and come back to it later. When I came back later that day to meet with her I sat down across the desk from her and we talked it through. She said exactly what I was already thinking: “This would make a great movie.” While I’m not a scriptwriter, nor to I have any desire to be, a lot of books find their way to the big screen anymore. And I do so like writing books.
The result of this paper was motivation for me to dig a little deeper and compile a great story based off Weatherford’s gatherings of information about Manduhai. The book will not be strictly historical fiction. I intend to add magical and fantastical elements to make it entertaining for fantasy readers as well. For those of you who don’t know who she is, I have attached a copy of my research paper below. Feel free to read it and decide for yourself what you think.
If anyone has tips on great resources for cultural ideals and religion of the 15th and 16th century Mongolians please share it with me in the comments. Anyone with particular expertise in geography of the Mongolian empire please do so as well. I accept all help!